can I sue for lost rental income in California, if the defendant both damaged the front door, and altered the front doorframe without my consent, causing me to be unable to rent out the apartment for the three months after the tenant moved out during which it was getting repaired?
If the tenant had given notice of his altering of the front door when it was damaged, I would of been able to replace the doorframe during his stay. (he had broken into the house with a screwdriver due to loosing his key, and thus the front door would no longer close, and he had to remove screws and place adhesives on the hinges so the door would close- although it did not fix it properly and it was scratching the floor when I did a move out inspection) The tenant lived in the apartment for a year and a half.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You definitely are entitled to charge reasonable lost rent during the time it takes to repair damage, but only to the extent it exceeds normal vacancy time to get the unit ready to re-rent, AND the time it takes to repair must be reasonable and you must take all commercially reasonable steps to get the work done at a fair price and as quickly as possible. Three months to fix a front door does not sound reasonable unless there were extenuating circumstances. So you would have to demonstrate why it took so long and that you could not have gotten it done sooner.